• by Penn Jillette
  • Narrated by Penn Jillette
  • 9 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

An unconventional weight loss tale from an unconventional personality. Penn Jillette tells how he lost 100 pounds with his trademark outrageous sense of humor and biting social commentary that makes this success story anything but ordinary.
Legendary magician Penn Jillette was approaching his 60th birthday. Topping 330 pounds and saddled with a systolic blood pressure reading over 200, he knew he was at a dangerous crossroads: If he wanted to see his small children grow up, he needed to change. And then came Crazy Ray. A former NASA scientist and an unconventional, passionate innovator, Ray Cronise saved Jillette's life with his wild "potato diet".
In Presto, Jillette takes us along on his journey from skepticism to the inspiring, life-changing momentum that transformed the magician's body and mind. He describes the process in hilarious detail, as he performs his Las Vegas show, takes meetings with Hollywood executives, and hangs out with his celebrity friends and fellow eccentric performers, all while remaining a dedicated husband and father. Throughout, he weaves in his views on sex, religion, and pop culture, making his story a refreshing, genre-busting account. Outspoken, frank, and bitingly clever, Presto is an incisive, rollicking listen.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Tall, Fat and Funny Tales

Full disclosure I’m a huge fan of Penn Jillette, if I have a man crush it’s Penn, I listen to his Sunday School podcast, watch Fools Us religiously and have seen him live any number of times….but I HATE diet books. I hate Dr. Oz and the self-righteous nonsense that goes with so many fad diets. So it was with some trepidation that I embarked upon Presto! I was painfully aware that Penn had done this crazy diet and lost 100 lbs.quickly because we doesn’t stop talking about it on his podcast. That’s OK but I have been known to fast forward through the diet parts. However I’m happy to report that this book, read by the inimitable and gloriously foul mouthed Penn, is nothing like most boring preachy diet's very good.

Presto tells the story of his near death encounter with fat blocked arteries all the way through to the new svelte (and somewhat weird looking) Penn 100lbs later. It’s highly entertaining often very funny and really quite fascinating. The fanatical cult like diet regime which appears to be grounded in some pretty sound science is described in enough detail to be believable but not so much as to be boring. It’s a thoroughly entertaining read. If I had one tiny complaint it’s that Penn has a wonderful life… and boy does he name drop. I can hear him shouting an appropriate obscenity at me for saying that but in the context of a book rather than a podcast or a magic show…it can get a bit much…enough already with your Bob Dylan and Lou Reed stories! The overall demeanor of the book is a self-mocking aw shucks we’re just carny trash…who happen to be best friends with almost everyone. That’s probably just sour grapes (you can’t eat grapes coz they have sugar in them) on my part. This is a wonderful read, read wonderfully. You may not follow his path and join the cult to shed the pounds but it’s very entertaining to hear his story...I feel a bit thinner just from listening to it.
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- Tim

Just Make Sure You Really Like Penn...

Look, I like Penn Jillette. He's an entertaining personality and a hell of an entertainer. I bought this book because I was impressed with his weight loss transformation, and I wanted to find out more about it. I've been listening to it most of the day, and I am just finishing up Chapter 22...which is about half the book. But, I'm done. This was an exhausting listen. I like a lot of the content addition to the small amount of actual weight loss info included, you get little show biz tidbits and stories, his view on atheism (and corresponding need to dump on people of faith), are treated to a full-on overdose of profanity and graphic sexual imagery, and get to play witness to his need to be recognized as a full-on a-hole. No, I didn't make that up. He calls himself that and "fat f*ck" probably a thousand times in the first 22 chapters. OK, I got the point. So, here's my review. If you love Penn, you'll probably love the book. If you just want to listen to a story, maybe try the Abridged version (if there is one). This was like a bad first draft that needed to pass through an editor's hands about a half-dozen times before being unleashed on the public. Insanely repetitive...even two or three incredibly repetitive sentences back to back to back...and this was kind of a non-stop thing. I have a hard time believing there was an editor involved in the process at all. Pure stream-of-consciousness (as seen from the inside of a mildly manic mind). I could easily have cut this thing in half and you still would have thought it was all over the board. So, for me...I got what I needed. Not sad that I bought the book. Penn is entertaining. I now know more about his bodily functions and genitalia than I ever knew I wanted to know. He's a fun guy. But, enough for me. ;)
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- C. Brown

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-19-2016
  • Publisher: Publishing